Windies face grilling

By Tony Cozier
Stabroek News
January 19, 2000

In an unprecedented development reflecting general disquiet over the West Indies' recent drubbing in New Zealand, every member of the touring team assembled in Barbados yesterday after being summoned for a debriefing session with the executive committee of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) today.

Stephen Camacho, the WICB's chief executive, said yesterday manager Clive Lloyd, coach Viv Richards, captain Brian Lara and all the players were expected to attend.

"The meeting has been called by the executive committee of the WICB to hear from management and players just what went wrong in New Zealand," Camacho said. "It is of understandable concern to everyone involved in West Indies cricket."

The West Indies were beaten in both Tests, by nine wickets and by an innings and 105 runs, and in all five one-day internationals. Usually, manager, captain and coach provide the Board with written reports on overseas tours as well as home series.

After the West Indies were beaten in all five Tests and in six of the seven one-day internationals last year, Lloyd, Lara and the late Malcolm Marshall, then the coach, flew directly from Johannesburg to Antigua for a meeting with a designated committee of the WICB.

As a consequence, Lara was placed on probation as captain for the first two Tests of the home series against Australia and he, Lloyd and Marshall were set "specific performance targets".

Among other matters, management is likely to be questioned today about reports in the New Zealand press that the West Indies team neither practiced nor trained once the series of one-day internationals had started.

It will be Lloyd's last meeting with the WICB. The former West Indies captain, who was appointed manager in 1996, has already announced that he will not reapply for an extention of his original three-year contract.

Camacho disclosed that the WICB executive committee at today's meeting would be headed by vice-president Clarvis Joseph, financial controller Richard Jodhan, drectors Richard deSouza of Trinidad and Tobago and Chetram Singh of Guyana and himself.

He said president Pat Rousseau would not be part of the committee but did not elaborate.

The Trinidad and Guyana players are expected to fly out to Trinidad immediately after today's meeting to be ready for their team's Busta Cup match, starting at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre tomorrow. The other two Cup matches start on Friday.

In a prepared statement last weekend, chairman of selectors Mike Findlay said his committee and the WICB itself needed not only to assess the New Zealand tour "to determine why the team performed so poorly" but also to hear from management and players why the West Indies have done so badly on recent overseas tours.

Prior to the defeats in South Africa and New Zealand, the West Indies lost all three Tests and three one-day internationals in Pakistan in 1997.

Findlay said the players should be given the chance "to put forward their views about the problems facing West Indies cricket and the way forward for the game in the Caribbean".

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